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Illustration Major’s Talent Recognized in Statewide Competition
David A Rodriguez ’22 recently captured first place in a program that recognized his talent for and dedication to illustration. He is continuing to explore new ways to tell stories through his art – including work on an upcoming children’s book.
January 22, 2021
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
David A Rodriguez ’22 is passionate about art, and he is enjoys creating thought-provoking work that resonates with others. He explores a variety of themes in his work, including humor, nostalgia, and family relationships.
An illustration major, Rodriguez was recently honored for his work, capturing first place in the nonprofit organization Entrepreneurship Foundation’s 2020 Commercial Arts Competition’s illustration category.
“I was very honored to receive this award,” said Rodriguez, who hails from Venezuela. “It is very validating to receive praise for your work in a field that is difficult to break into. It was a reminder that my work and my story are important and that I need to keep working. I'm definitely over the moon.”
Rodriguez, who shares his work on his Instagram page, will use the prize money to invest in his career by purchasing a digital painting tablet. He recently took a “3D Modeling and Computer Animation” course at the University, which enabled him to explore digital art – something that, he says, is still new to him. He is looking forward to continuing to experiment with 3D art and digital painting.
'I have a lot of dreams'
Jon Sideriadis, M.F.A., who has been Rodriguez’s adviser and instructor for two years, says Rodriguez is very deserving of this recognition.
"David is a remarkable illustration student and has strived for success since day one,” said Prof. Sideriadis, coordinator of the University’s illustration program. “He has never ceased to impress me. He is now an award-winning illustrator, and that makes me very proud.
“When I heard that David won first place in this prestigious statewide competition for commercial art, I rejoiced,” he continued. “This grant will enhance his studio equipment and expand his business. It's a well-deserved award that honors his hard work and that of the University’s Art and Design Department."
Rodriguez is grateful for the support of his professors, and he plans to keep exploring new media in his art, including film and television animation. He also is interested in print, and he aspires to illustrate stories for children and adults in zines and books – something he is already working on.
“I have a lot of dreams, but I primarily want to tell stories,” he said. “I love writing, but I think there is something incredibly special about telling a story through images. I am currently working on the pictures to go alongside (Connecticut author) Lisa Cloherty's debut children's book. It is due to be published in the Fall of 2021, and I am very excited to share it with the world.”